Key Considerations For Alimony Settlement Eligibility
Settling the issue of alimony is one of several steps you have to take when it comes to negotiating a divorce settlement. There
Length of Marriage
The first thing a judge is likely to look at is how long you and your spouse have been married. The longer the marriage, the greater amount of support you or your spouse will likely receive.
There is no hard rule determining exactly how long spousal support should last or how much should be given for a particular length of time. In most cases, the alimony lasts only for as long as a judge feels is enough time for the recipient to become self-supporting. Some states automatically grant alimony for marriages that have lasted for more than 10 years.
Current and Future Earnings
The judge will also take you and your spouse's current salary and the future earnings potential of the recipient spouse. If one spouse earned significantly less than the other, the spouse with the lower income is likely to receive an alimony settlement that allows that person to maintain their standard of living.
Not only are wages and salaries factored into the settlement amount, but the judge may also look at other sources of income, including trusts, dividends and interest from savings and/or investment accounts. If either spouse contributed to the other's education and career advancement, such contributions will also be factored into the settlement amount.
Children and Custody Status
Having children can also have far-reaching consequences on the final alimony settlement amount calculated by the courts. It's quite possible for the parent who has majority custody to have limited future earnings due to increased parental responsibilities. As a result, the custodial parent may receive a larger settlement amount for a longer period of time until the children reach adult age or the parent manages to become self-supporting.
Last but not least, the judge may take a look at who's at fault for the marriage
Although a judge will take all of the above factors into consideration, it is ultimately up to you to negotiate a fair and amicable settlement for yourself or your spouse. You should always have your divorce attorney at your side to guide you through the intricacies of this sometimes difficult but necessary process. To find out more, speak with someone like Koth & Gregory PC Law Firm.